Originally the Home Tea Room (or Home Luncheonette) on Spring Street, the building now known as The Log was renovated to serve as The Alumni House in 1941. Independent students, excluded from fraternity houses for alumni social activities, were thought to particularly benefit from the new space. Stuart J. Templeton, then President of the Society of Alumni said: “I believe that this house will fill a real need in Williamstown, and will be of great benefit both to the college and to the alumni. It gives us a place which belongs to the alumni and to which all the alumni belong. I believe it will be a tremendous help in bringing our non-fraternity alumni in closer contact with the college. I have always felt that the non-fraternity men have over-emphasized the importance of the fraternity associations and many have hesitated about coming back to Williamstown because they had no particular place to go. This house corrects that situation and I hope it will be the center of alumni life in Williamstown.” Further additions were made to The Alumni House in 1946 and 1952. The architect for the original plan and subsequent additions was Kenneth G. Reynolds (Williams 1916).
The painting of the mural representing Ephraim Williams, Colonel Titcombe, Mohawk leader Hendrick Peters Theyanoguin, and Mohawk soldiers was created in 1942 by artist Stanley J. Rowland. In 1946, a second mural by Rowland joined his first in the Black Memorial Room. The second painting represented Ephraim Williams signing his last will and testament in Albany before embarking on his last military campaign in 1755.
The 1946 addition, known as the Dodge Room (donated in honor of Samuel Douglas Dodge (Williams 1877) and John Newell Garfield (Williams 1915)) was constructed in part from wood salvaged from an old mill in North Adams. The Dodge Room hearth used a millstone taken from an 1859 Water Street grist mill donated to the College by Louis Rudnick (Williams 1915).
The next addition, which had been planned earlier, was especially needed in 1952. Because the Garfield/Commons Club had closed, reducing dining opportunities for non-fraternity students, The Alumni House was tapped to serve temporarily as a student union while work on the new campus center, Baxter Hall, took place. This extension to the House, called the West College Room, included beams salvaged from the West College fire of 1951 as well as planks and timbers taken from the Rudnick mill which was razed in 1952. The funds for the 1952 addition came in part from alumni gifts and from sale of lithographic prints of “Our Berkshire Valley” created by Dwight Shepler (Williams 1928). A mural depicting Ephraim Williams on a football field was donated by the Class of 1925 in 1954, also painted by Shepler.
In 1973 Massachusetts drinking laws changed to allow 18-year-olds access to alcohol. The building took the name of The Log when the ‘College Pub Committee,’ a committee of faculty, administrative staff and students, were charged with naming the building and establishing hours of operation and policy. While The Log served primarily as a social space and student pub, alumni still took precedence over students during homecoming, football weekends, and other alumni-focused events. When the current Alumni Center was completed in 1983 at the Faculty House, The Log became “the exclusive domain of students and their guests.” As drinking laws again changed, in 1985, The Log closed as a bar.
In 2015 The Log was renovated with alumni, many from the 1980s, donating the needed $4,500,000. That November The Log reopened as a social space, restaurant and bar for students, staff, faculty, alumni and the public.